CNA Classes in New Mexico (Top Schools)

New Mexico map

In New Mexico, Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health (DOH).

So to become a CNA in the state, you must accomplish the following:

  • Complete a state-approved Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP)
  • Pass the New Mexico CNA Competency Exam (NM-CNACE)

By complying with these requirements, the DOH will issue you the certification and add you to the CNA Registry.

Important Note: The DOH has contracted Prometric to administer the NM-CNACE and manage the CNA Registry.

Taking on a CNA Training Program in New Mexico

The first step to becoming a CNA in New Mexico is to acquire education from a state-approved NATCEP.

It’s important to enroll in an approved training facility because they comply with the state’s standards and regulations.

Here are the types of training facilities you can choose from:

  • School-based programs from community colleges and universities
  • Mobile programs, suitable for independent students
  • Facility-based programs for on-the-job training

In the program, you will undergo a minimum of 75 hours of training, with at least 16 hours of supervised clinical training.

Below are some of the CNA training facilities approved by the DOH.

For inquiries about the training facility near your locality, contact CNA Registry at CNA.Registry@state.nm.us.

21 CNA Schools in New Mexico

School NameAddress
CASA Arena Blanca Nursing CenterAlamogordo, NM 88310
Albuquerque Job Corps CenterAlbuquerque, NM 87104
St. Theresa Healthcare and Rehabilitation CenterAlbuquerque, NM 87110
St. John Healthcare and Rehabilitation CenterAlbuquerque, NM 87112
Ladera Nursing and Rehabilitation CenterAlbuquerque, NM 87120
Belen Meadows Healthcare and Rehabilitation CenterBelen, NM 87002
Landsun Homes, Inc.Carlsbad, NM 88220
Carlsbad Medical CenterCarlsbad, NM 88220
Clovis Healthcare and Rehabilitation CenterClovis, NM 88101
Sierra Health Care CenterConsequences, NM 87901
New Mexico State Veteran’s HomeConsequences, NM 87901
Mimbres Memorial Hospital and Nursing HomeDeming, NM 88030
Life Care Center of FarmingtonFarmington, NM 87401
Lea Regional Medical CenterHobbs, NM 88240
New Mexico State UniversityLas Cruces, NM 88003
Vida Encantada Nursing and RehabLas Vegas,New Mexico 87701
Retirement RanchNew Mexico 88101
CASA Maria Health Care CenterRoswell, NM 88203
Silver City Care CenterSilver City, NM 88061
Taos Living CenterTaos,New Mexico 87571
Mesalands Community CollegeTucumcari, NM 88401

CNA Candidates Eligible for NM-CNACE

The DOH has outlined the CNA candidates eligible for certification, which Prometric complies with.

Take a look at the below for eligibility qualifications and application requirements.

Newly-trained nurse aide

  • Complete a state-approved NATCEP in the last 24 months
  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Proof of training from your NATCEP director

For the third requirement, have the director fill in the “Work Verification” section of the application form.

Military-trained nurse aide

  • Have obtained nurse aide training in the military in the past 24 months
  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Approval Letter from the DOH

Regarding the Approval Letter, you’ll have to call the DOH for the exact details of the approval process.

DOH contact number: 505-476-9025

If the department approves your eligibility to test, they will send you the letter.

Do note that the Approval Letter has only six months of validity.

So you need to take NM-CNACE within that period.

Nursing graduate

  • Completed a state-approved RN or LPN program
  • Have yet to take the state licensure exam
  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Approval Letter from the DOH

See the “Military-trained nurse aide” section for the details on the Approval Letter.

Out-of-state CNA with expired certification

  • Has an expired certification on another state’s CNA Registry in the past 24 months
  • Is a good standing in that state’s CNA Registry
  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Approval Letter from the DOH

See the “Military-trained nurse aide” section for the details on the Approval Letter.

Out-of-state or foreign-trained or licensed nurse and nurse aide

  • Has a valid nursing license from another state or country of origin
  • Is in good standing on that place’s registry
  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Approval Letter from the DOH

See the “Military-trained nurse aide” section for the details on the Approval Letter.

Nursing student

  • Completed the nursing fundamentals course in a state-approved nursing program in the past 24 months
  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Approval Letter from the DOH

See the “Military-trained nurse aide” section for the details on the Approval Letter.

CNA with expired certification…

Less than 24 months ago

  • Has expired status on the New Mexico CNA Registry
  • Duly accomplished application form, providing your NM Certificate Number on it

Because your certification only has expired in the last 24 months, you won’t need to retrain in the NATCEP.

However, you only have six months from the date of exam application to complete NM-CNACE.

More than 24 months ago

  • Has expired status on the New Mexico CNA Registry
  • Working as a CNA with pay during this period
  • Duly accomplished application form, providing your NM Certificate Number on it
  • Approval Letter from the DOH

See the “Military-trained nurse aide” section for the details on the Approval Letter.

But has retrained

  • Has expired status on the New Mexico CNA Registry more than 24 months ago
  • Hasn’t worked as a CNA during this period
  • Complete a state-approved NATCEP
  • Duly accomplished application form, providing your NM Certificate Number on it
  • Proof of training from your NATCEP director

For the last requirement, have the director fill in the “Work Verification” section of the application form.

Do note that you have 24 months from training completion to take and pass NM-CNACE to earn recertification.

Evaluating a CNA Candidate

Once you’ve determined your eligibility to test, you can now take the NM-CNACE.

The exam has two components: a knowledge test and a clinical skills test.

Here are the details for each test component:

Knowledge test

  • Assesses your nurse aide practical knowledge and skills
  • Computerized testing
  • Generally a written test in English
  • Consists of 60 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 90 minutes
  • Can opt for an oral test in English or Spanish upon request
  • Oral test has 15 reading comprehension questions in addition to the knowledge test
  • The reading comprehension section’s purpose is to ensure you have the minimum reading ability to work in a nursing facility
  • Using translators and bilingual dictionaries in the test are prohibited

Clinical skills test

  • Assess your competency in performing nurse aide skills and tasks
  • Skills are pre-assigned at the time of application
    • Two mandatory skills test – handwashing and indirect care
    • Three randomly selected skills test
  • Test duration depends on the skills assigned to you

For detailed information on the NM-CNACE, refer to the Candidate Information Bulletin on Prometric’s website.

Exam Results

You will know how you did on the NM-CNACE shortly after taking both test components.

As such, you’ll receive the score report immediately at the testing site.

On the score report for both tests, it will only indicate “Pass” or “Fail.”

If you pass, within one week from the date of testing, you will:

  • Receive by mail your nurse aide certificate
  • Have your information added to CNA Registry

But if you fail, a retake on the failed test component will occur.

You have three attempts within two years of training completion to pass NM-CNACE.

Otherwise, you will need to retrain in the NATCEP to be eligible to retake NM-CNACE.

Exam Fees

Fees are due each time a candidate tests.

Here’s the breakdown of the exam fees:

 FeeNM State Tax (5%)Total Fee

Initial test fee

Written and clinical skills test

English oral and clinical skills test

Spanish oral and clinical skills test

$102.00$5.10$107.10
Test retake fee

Written test

English oral test

Spanish oral test

$37.00$1.85$38.85
Clinical skills test$65.00$3.25$68.25

 

As you can see, added to the exam fees is the 5% state tax.

You may pay for the exam fees yourself or request for the state to pay for you.

The latter is only possible for the initial certification of CNA applicants working or about to work at an approved nursing facility.

So if you opt for this, let an authorized representative complete the “Work Verification” section on the application form.

Out-of-State CNA under Reciprocity

You can only be granted immediate NM CNA certification and registry if you have:

  • Active status on another state’s CNA Registry
  • Been in good standing in that state’s CNA Registry

If you do, then you can submit a reciprocity application with the supporting documents to NM CNA Registry.

Here are the requirements:

  • NM Nurse Aide Training and Registry Reciprocity Form
  • A copy of the following:
    • Current CNA Certification
    • Social Security Card
    • Driver’s License or Photo ID

You can mail, email, or fax these to:

CNAR Coordinator
Division of Health Improvement
5301 Central Avenue NE
Suite 1510, Room 11
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Email: CNA.registry@state.nm.us
Fax: (505) 841-6551

Potential Salary

It’s best to understand that the salary you’ll receive varies from place to place.

That’s because several factors are considered in determining it, such as:

  • Education
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Nature of work

As of this writing, you can expect to receive an average salary of about $28,000 per year.

The table below shows the CNA salary information in different cities in New Mexico.

Annual Salary Range:
$26K
$28K
$31K

Average Salary of CNAs in New Mexico

City NameSalary
Albuquerque$29,739
Las Cruces$26,884
Santa Fe$29,889
Rio Rancho$29,644
Roswell$27,738
Farmington$29,339
Alamogordo$28,213
Clovis$28,018
Hobbs$27,286
Carlsbad$27,738
* Salary information last updated 2022

State FlagCNA Schools by City